From April 7-17, Santiago de Chile was transformed into an experimental space for artists that were looking into the relationships between art, cultural heritage, and community. Installations, performances, and other artistic works turned empty buildings and public areas into experiential spaces. The city center’s historic Yungay district turned into a space of resonance on the fragile cohesion of society. It was setting the subject of ‘neighborhood’ as the focus of the project, which asks: Who are our neighbors, and what do I share with the person next to me?
Dating back to the middle of the 19th century, Barrio Yungay was the city’s first planned district. Over the last few decades, the neighborhood has been shaped by migration and decline, earthquakes, economic crises and political conflicts. Local engagement has recently led to the preservation of certain buildings, creating a confluence of vacancy and venture, of immigration and social separation, and of stagnation and the pressure to develop. These contrasts are part of Yungay’s reality and practically demand to be examined from a new perspective.
The northern part of the district was once home to a train station that connected Santiago to other cities, including the coastal city of Valparaiso. One of the interventions seeks to breathe new life into this more or less forgotten part of the neighborhood. Sites for other interventions include a former metal foundry, abandoned apartment buildings, burned-out houses, a disused theater, and a metro station that was built but never brought into operation.
In more than 20 buildings and public spaces, artists from Chile and other parts of the world are literally taking the reins; perhaps no more so than in the aptly named “Pulling Strings,” a choreographed piece developed by Eva Meyer-Keller along with Chilean artists. At two locations, items found in the neighborhood are attached to strings and form the basis of questions relating to our ties to the world, to interconnectedness, and to cohesion.
The eleven-day program with installations and performances linked three program elements: individual artistic works, participatory work with neighborhoods, and supplementary activities with sustainability initiatives that reach beyond the spaces encompassed by the presentations.
A detailed program is available on the event website (Spanish)
CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS in Santiago de Chile is an initiative of Siemens Stiftung along with Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes de Chile, Fundación Patrimonio Creativo in cooperation with Municipalidad de Santiago, Municipalidad de Providencia, escenalborde artes escénicas contemporáneas, Nave, Junta de Vecions Barrio Yungay, Escuella Taller Fermín Vivaceta, DUOC, Universidad Diego Portales, Universidad de Chile and others. With support from Goethe-Institut Chile.